Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
~ John 14:19
One of the most powerful images we can encounter in our faith is that of the stone being rolled away. The resurrection is the witness of God's amazing power, and that Christ still lives.
Scripture reminds us that "He is risen!"
For many of us, however, the image that Christ now lives within us, and we are His temple, is another illustration of a tomb.
As part of my job as a chaplain, each day I ask people to tell me about their faith. It surprises me at the number of people who provide the answer in almost a second-thought way, "Oh, I'm a Christian."
The purpose of the stone being rolled away is so that the world may know that Jesus has risen from the dead. If we are to be instruments of the living Christ, then we must allow the things that seem to block the ability of Christ to fully live in us, to be removed, or rolled away as well.
I have often wondered how different the world would be if we were given the opportunity to see the living Christ more often!
Our city sidewalks are modern day dusty roads of Israel, where Christ walked, sharing the message of hope and love.
The coffee shop on the corner has become the mountainside where Jesus proclaimed that those who were different were called, "Blessed."
The beaches along the Gulf are still capable of allowing the words, "Follow me," to be heard.
Any one of us are capable of rolling back the stone that often creates a tomb of our heart that prevents Christ to fully live.
Each time we pray, "Not my will, but Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," the stone begins to sway.
When we are able to walk across the street to help someone in need, a little bit of light begins to shine into the darkness.
Every time we feel the need to seek justice for our neighbor, or those that are different than us, not only does the stone move, but begins to crack and fall away.
The stone falls away when we realize that being the temple of God means that God must also be given the opportunity to live within us! The tomb can only be seen as empty when we allow Christ to live in and through us.
"He is risen! Risen, indeed, in me!"
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.